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 Post subject: Pandasafe
Post #1 Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 10:12 am 
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With the EGF's annual general meeting coming soon, it is perhaps important to have some suggestions as to how to restore confidence to the team tournament. What rules could we actually put in place?

  • Play all games at the same time.
  • Do not allow players to observe games whilst they are playing.
These two rules might stop teams conferring in secret. It was a common tactic to defer weakest board so stronger player can help them the next day.

  • Make the players turn on a webcam.
  • No headphones during game.
The referee can easily monitor 20 games at once like this. Players can look to see if their opponent breaks into a sweat, or turns red after a move.

You can often find games cloned in national rooms on KGS by observers/supporters, but I can't think of any rule to block this.

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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #2 Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:59 am 
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If the league manager decides, an obeserver can be assigned to watch a game in person in the place where a player is playing.

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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #3 Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:09 am 
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something in a different direction, take rating out of the equation

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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #4 Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:54 am 
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When the league started ~7 years ago the games were unrated. Several years ago they became rated (with low weighting) with the option to opt out of having your games rated (several British players did so). I'm ok with keeping them rated for now (they are a rare opportunity for me to earn points against strong players), but also wouldn't object if it was decided making them all unrated again was safer in light of the new bot landscape.

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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #5 Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:29 pm 
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Javaness2 wrote:
  • Make the players turn on a webcam.
  • No headphones during game.
The referee can easily monitor 20 games at once like this. Players can look to see if their opponent breaks into a sweat, or turns red after a move.

Leagues C and D Manager (so referee too) here. I guarantee you that no, I wouldn't be able to monitor 20 games at once.

While some rounds go by without too many problems, I'm often busy with updating lineups on the website, adding results from games started earlier, editing the sgf code of games with wrong komi, recounting games that weren't scored correctly, checking that games are being played with the right colors, troubleshooting with players that cannot get games to start, discussing with team captains about potential substitutions and forfeits... once we even had a scheduled maintenance of the server during one of the rounds, so I had to prepare for that too.

tl;dr: at peak time it's already hard being on top of everything as it is now. I really couldn't add checking 20 webcams :shock:

And besides, I suspect my Internet connection wouldn't bear the load, unless they streamed at 144p.


Matti wrote:
If the league manager decides, an observer can be assigned to watch a game in person in the place where a player is playing.

Just my opinion: where would I find a person willing to travel to South Africa or Kazakhstan (chosen simply because they are the places most further away) to watch the game in person for free?


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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #6 Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:59 am 
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Fede wrote:
Matti wrote:
If the league manager decides, an observer can be assigned to watch a game in person in the place where a player is playing.

Just my opinion: where would I find a person willing to travel to South Africa or Kazakhstan (chosen simply because they are the places most further away) to watch the game in person for free?

I would first ask another local player to watch the game. Of course if one cannot find any trustwotrhy person from the area, it would be a problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #7 Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:01 am 
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Fede wrote:
tl;dr: at peak time it's already hard being on top of everything as it is now. I really couldn't add checking 20 webcams :shock:

And besides, I suspect my Internet connection wouldn't bear the load, unless they streamed at 144p.


A few random thoughts:

1. Webcam feeds don't necessarily need to be checked in real time. Seems like they could be saved and reviewed later. However, watching them later raises the possibility that one discovers too late that there was a technical problem -- like the camera being improperly positioned. It might be necessary to at least confirm that the feed is being correctly recorded at the start and then check in periodically to make sure that nothing has gone wrong.

2. The other participants in the tournament have a vested interest in this monitoring, and that could be utilized -- particularly, opponents. You could, for example, make each player responsible for ensuring that their opponent's feed is properly set up and recorded. Might even make sense to make them responsible for reviewing the feed after the game. They have a vested interest in the outcome of the monitoring, but a panel of neutral arbitrators could screened out false accusations.

3. I suspect that if this strategy of observing players gets used, there would need to be a very detailed and carefully laid out description of what players are and are not allowed to do during the game. Headphones seems clear, but there are probably other issues that need to be addressed. For example, what if someone needs to leave the room to get a drink or to use the bathroom? How should the camera be positioned -- to just observe the player or should the entire room be visible? If the latter, does the player need to be alone? Someone mentioned on another thread that the Chess world does this regularly, it might be good to review their procedures as a starting point.

That said, this strategy can only go so far. Players, for example, could have an accomplice in another room follow the game and relay messages back either orally or in writing from outside of camera shot.

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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #8 Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:28 am 
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Would requiring players to provide post-game commentary on the game do anything at all to mitigate cheating? Would players be more hesitant to cheat if they have to explain the reasoning behind each of the moves they chose?

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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #9 Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:26 pm 
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From a logistic point of view, most suggestions are just not feasible. I am in favor of a webcam, but let's be honest, if someone wants to cheat, a webcam can't do much. If somehow, a referee could see, the apps running on the computer or the actual view the player has on his computer, that could be more trustworthy.

In any case, we just have to accept that, like in chess, online tournaments can't be used for rating anymore. The idea that one's opponent might somehow still cheat, will always linger in the back of the mind, rendering the game pointless from a rating perspective. I knew this day would come sooner than later, it was fun while it lasted.

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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #10 Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:15 pm 
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dsatkas wrote:
If somehow, a referee could see, the apps running on the computer or the actual view the player has on his computer, that could be more trustworthy.


Except for his second laptop.

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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #11 Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:37 am 
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I think that if someone really has the will to cheat, a webcam won't help: as we saw in chess, it's possible to cheat even in face to face tournaments without detection.
But it may be a good deterrent for people that do not have a good incentive to cheat, i.e. that don't care enough to cheat to set up something more complex.
The problem is, adding a webcam as a requirement we deter even people that don't cheat but don't want to set up anything more complex. Ned to buy a webcam, set it up, check stream quality, ... it all adds up.

Matti wrote:
[...]
I would first ask another local player to watch the game. Of course if one cannot find any trustwotrhy person from the area, it would be a problem.

I don't think this could be considered trustworthy. I was moved from League B when Italy got promoted to B a few years ago, it's standard procedure. Football-related analogy: referees don't referee their national team nor their favourite team nor their fav team's opponents. So the same standard should probably be used with observers.


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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #12 Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:25 am 
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Fede wrote:

Matti wrote:
[...]
I would first ask another local player to watch the game. Of course if one cannot find any trustwotrhy person from the area, it would be a problem.

I don't think this could be considered trustworthy. I was moved from League B when Italy got promoted to B a few years ago, it's standard procedure. Football-related analogy: referees don't referee their national team nor their favourite team nor their fav team's opponents. So the same standard should probably be used with observers.


I can imagine three ultimate alternatives in development with onlne tournament games:
    We do not care abut cheating.
    We do not play on line tournament games any more.
    The players will play under control.
Having a local observer preferaböy an oficial from the local clubor associtaion is a step toward controlled play. Later we might tighten the control if feasible. Do you want to discard this solution?

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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #13 Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:19 am 
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Matti wrote:
Having a local observer preferaböy an oficial from the local clubor associtaion is a step toward controlled play. Later we might tighten the control if feasible. Do you want to discard this solution?


As a South African player, I think this might be somewhat feasible. All of our players (at the moment) are based in one of two cities, so it would not be unreasonable to insist that they travel to the local go club, to be observed by someone nominated by our national association.

One concern is that our clubs are not really conducive to top quality play - they are noisy restaurants, with poor light. Very social and fine for club games, but not ideal for tournaments. Although most players can zone out the distractions most of the time, it's still not nearly as good as playing at home. Also potentially an issue is the venue closing early for late start matches.

For us, however, the PGETC is the best thing that's happened to SA go for many years, so we'd definitely be willing to compromise to keep it alive.


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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #14 Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:41 am 
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Matti wrote:
Having a local observer preferaböy an oficial from the local clubor associtaion is a step toward controlled play. Later we might tighten the control if feasible. Do you want to discard this solution?

I want to be sure about its feasibility before it's considered.
I've played on my team for a couple seasons and the closest official (since I lead my go club I don't think any of the players would be considered suitable, they're friends) was more than 2 hours away by car, which would have made it logistically problematic. Please remember that games are on working days.

Even though at the end of the day my opinion counts zilch, I'd like this tournament to be inclusive, not exclusive.


@quantumf
In case of rolling blackouts or energy shortages (I remember you had problems at least in the 16-17 season and a brief search seems to imply that South Africa is still having issues), would a club be more or less likely to have electricity than a private home?

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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #15 Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 11:19 am 
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Fede wrote:
@quantumf
In case of rolling blackouts or energy shortages (I remember you had problems at least in the 16-17 season and a brief search seems to imply that South Africa is still having issues), would a club be more or less likely to have electricity than a private home?


Good point. Although we hope those days are behind us, who can say for sure. In a situation of rolling blackouts, it's impossible to say one is better than another. It's not just the restaurant (or home), but other infrastructure such as the ISP that also comes into play.

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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #16 Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:21 pm 
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From the 6 most active players in the Greek team, 2 live in the same city, another 500km north of that, one in England, one in Scotland and one in Germany... :lol:

Let's suppose that 4 players are gathered at the same time at the same place, who exactly is going to look over them? Obviously you can't trust another local player and there are no official representatives nearby. What happens (as it usually does) if one game is postponed for another day? Also, there is no official go club.

Well, i'm a pessimist irl, but i just can't see how this could work even if the circumstances were better.

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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #17 Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:49 am 
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So getting an observer to look at the game can be problematic in some cases. We could start to experiment the observer policy at the A league, which is the most serious one as top four teams get into the finals and get prize money. Also the games should be played unrated in all leagues.


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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #18 Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:10 am 
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Fede wrote:
Leagues C and D Manager (so referee too) here. I guarantee you that no, I wouldn't be able to monitor 20 games at once.


I hope you realised, but I wasn't serious about this possibility. Webcams seem basically useless in the current format.

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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #19 Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:33 am 
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We can always switch to blitz games. In chess it works. You cannot use a bot if there is little time.

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 Post subject: Re: Pandasafe
Post #20 Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:11 pm 
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Bohdan wrote:
We can always switch to blitz games. In chess it works. You cannot use a bot if there is little time.


sure, but then the tournament loses its appeal. The point is to play long-thinking games against strong opponents.I won't even mention the significance of good connection for a blitz game (i have seen too many times disconnects and the server seems to not be reliable), misclicks etc.

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